Hello, and welcome to my eighth installment of my ongoing Wealthy Affiliate Journal. This article continues my journey going through all the various courses of Wealthy Affiliate, and I’m documenting my journey to determine whether being an affiliate is a legitimate home based business.
AdSense vs Affiliate Income?
In Course 3, Lesson 8, which is where I left off, the difference between affiliate income and advertising income is discussed. Although there are clear benefits of affiliate only sites, there are those who do very well with Google AdSense as well. Overall, however, this lesson does point out that affiliate income can earn more with the same traffic, and the lessons ends with the recommendation that each site owner should test his or her own formula to see what works best for them. Wealthy Affiliate won’t necessarily tell you specifically what to do with your site. Instead, they tend to explain the pros and cons, and they leave the final decision with you.
Content is King!
In Course 3, Lessons 9 and 10, the course finishes up with Google Analytics. The lesson instructs us how to add it to our sites, and explains a bit about why it’s important. And, again, there’s a reminder for us about content and our purpose of building our site in the first place. If we can remember to provide good content, be helpful, and to educate our readers on products, services, or our topic, in general, the affiliate or advertising income will come automatically because our site will command the traffic based on good content. In summary, for anyone to “make it” as an affiliate marketer, these days, involves much more than just throwing a site together with key words and plastering it with affiliate links. There is much more to it now. It requires work. It requires good research, good content, and a commitment to your readers. You’re basically building “your brand,” and writing your content on your word – your reputation.
Those who are willing to make this type of commitment and do this work can, and do, “make it,” while those who are not willing to persist or make that kind of long term commitment do not. It’s really that simple.
In Course 4, the entire course is dedicated to Social Media Marketing and how you can use it to your advantage. In Lessons 1 through 5, the coursework explains the various uses of social media, and then it goes into detail. Following along this course, you will be setting up Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus accounts. At present, I am now up to the end of Lesson 7, and I now have all my social accounts all set up. I am also beginning to get traffic – according to Google Analytics, which was set up in Course 3.
As mentioned, the WA membership and forum is a step by step approach which goes through each step in the process of building a successful blog and you are constantly learning from other members in the forum. So far, I am very impressed with the sincerity of people, and I am learning things I didn’t know before.
The Big “G”
What has me worried is not “me,” per se. I know what I can do. What has me worried is whether some other entity, like Google, is going to change the rules of the game as they did before. This is not my first blog, nor is it my first time I’ve worked online. If you’ve read my previous posts, especially from the beginning on February 19, 2015, you will pick up on my trepidation. And, it mirrors other people’s remarks as well. We just don’t want to put in all this time and effort into building something online when some company as big as Google can just change the rules in mid-stream. They have done it before.
In fact, let’s take a moment to talk a bit about another large company that changed the rules in mid-stream – after I had put in long hours writing good content. Let’s talk about Squidoo. (For those of you who may not know what was Squidoo, see the P.S. below.)
What Happened to Squidoo?
More like – What the “Hell” happened to Squidoo, and where did all my work go!!? Well, basically, Seth Godin, the founder of Squidoo, sold out, that’s what happened to Squidoo. Maybe it was “an offer he just couldn’t refuse?” Maybe not. I’ll probably never know, nor do I really care. If he made out like a bandit – good for him. But, I don’t agree with his decision to leave all of his Squidoo members pretty much high and dry. I do not agree, nor do I appreciate, the fact that they only gave their members 10 days to transfer their content. It was just not the “right thing to do” especially without adequate time and/or repeated warnings.
For a membership so large, and with that much content broken down into separate text boxes and various “lenses,” I think it should have been more like 6 months. At the very least, there should have been a series of “HIGH IMPORTANCE” emails with capital letters in the subject line to effectively notify members of the pending sale of the company and the possible deletion of member’s content. Instead, I only received that one e-mail, and because of that one lousy email, both my mom and I lost some good content which was, of course, our time and our effort. We had both spent hours of time writing articles on Squidoo, and we weren’t given enough time to try to save our content or even retrieve it later. Needless to say, I also lost any respect for the founder who, in the end, treated his members in this way. Hope you have a nice “time off,” Seth! I’ll never trust you again, that’s for damn sure.
Gym Related Injury in 2014
As previously discussed, the year 2014 was not a good year for me. I had a physical injury that was very painful, and I was still dealing with it when I vaguely remember seeing an e-mail from Squidoo one day while sitting at the computer. I don’t recall if I had seen it the day it was sent, or if I had seen it perhaps a week or two later as I was trying to catch up on things. By the time I did open it and read it, months later, I read that I was only given 10 days, and I realized it was too late to even try to save my content. Although I was no where near the amount of content that some of the other members had on that site, I did have quality content that I would have saved – had I known, and had I been give adequate time to try to download it, etc. So, between Google’s algorithm changes and the Squidoo sell-out, I believe I have adequate reason to be doubtful about working online – especially with third-party sites – don’t you?
What are Your Thoughts?
Did you go through the major Google algorithm change where sites were just dropping off the search engines all together. Businesses literally lost their rankings overnight – without warning… Were you among them? Did you also have content on Squidoo? Did you have time to save it, or did you lose it? Did you agree with the treatment of its members? In short – sometimes big sites and third-party sites that have major importance to what you’re doing online can leave a sour taste… to say the least.
Trust is Earned…
Well, as mentioned, this current effort is with Wealthy Affiliate, and I’ve made the commitment to make an honest effort for at least six months to re-evaluate the membership at that time. Wealthy Affiliate is set up differently from Squidoo in that they are hosting your WordPress site within your premium membership. The content you write is all within one edit box per article – as opposed to numerous text boxes and affiliate boxes within each article, or lens, as they were previously known on Squidoo. If I ever left WA, for whatever reason, I can (hopefully) easily transfer my whole site, content and all, to another WordPress host provider without losing any of my content. Short of that, it would be easier to copy content from each article out of that one text box. I also own and control my own domain – something each writer should do regardless of what membership site you belong. So, as mentioned, so far, so good – with WA, and from what I’ve read, Kyle and Carson are two very nice guys. I just hope they continue to think of their members first, and I hope that someone doesn’t make them “an offer they just can’t refuse.” …That’s all.
As always – please feel free to share your opinions or questions below. For now, thank you for your visit, and I look forward to hearing from you!
P.S. If you don’t know what Squidoo was, here’s a brief synopsis:
Feel free to read more about Squidoo and Seth Godin (Please Cut & Paste into your browser – thank you.) :
Wealthy Affiliate Journal Series
1) Feb 21: How to Make A Passive Income Online
2) Feb 22: Working At Home: Wealthy Affiliate Journal
3) Feb 26: Building Passive Income Online